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Chimera's goal caps big Washington rally; Capitals can clinch series Saturday

NEW YORK -- Jason Chimera scored 12:36 into the second overtime and the Washington Capitals completed a stunning three-goal comeback to beat the Rangers, 4-3, and push New York to the brink of elimination Wednesday night.

New York scored three times in the second period to take a 3-0 lead and seemed poised to head back to Washington all even in the series for Game Five on Saturday. But now the top-seeded Capitals have a 3-1 lead and can advance to the second round with a win at home -- the place in which they grabbed a 2-0 series lead.

Alexander Semin started Washington's rally, and Marcus Johansson scored twice in the third to make it 3-3.

The Rangers built their big lead on a goal by Artem Anisimov and back-to-back tallies just 7 seconds apart by Marian Gaborik and Brandon Dubinsky. Henrik Lundqvist was the hard-luck loser after making 49 saves.

New York was the only NHL team this season to be perfect when leading after two periods (29-0), but none of that matters now.

Chimera took a shot from near the right circle that was blocked in front. Gaborik raced in and tried to clear the puck out of the crease but he swept it right onto Chimera's stick for a stuff shot that ended the game.

Lundqvist doubled over and stayed down on his knees as teammates skated slowly toward him. At the other end of the ice, the Capitals stormed off the bench and gathered in celebration with winning goalie Michal Neuvirth, who made 36 saves.

Washington now has the unexpected chance to close out the series in Game Five. The top-seeded Capitals were in this position last year -- holding a 3-1 lead over eighth-seeded Montreal -- but lost the final three games.


Neal saves Penguins

TAMPA, Fla. -- James Neal scored 3:38 into the second overtime to give the Pittsburgh Penguins a 3-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game Four of their first-round playoff series.

Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 29 shots -- 12 of them in the extra periods -- to help the Penguins take a commanding 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference matchup. Game Five is Saturday in Pittsburgh, with the Lightning needing a victory to keep their turnaround season alive.

Neal gathered a loose puck along the boards and sent the winning shot past goalie Dwayne Roloson, who made 50 saves for Tampa Bay.

Martin St. Louis scored late in the second period and Sean Bergenheim added his first career playoff with less than 4 minutes remaining in regulation as Tampa Bay rallied from a 2-0 deficit for the second straight game against Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.

But unlike Game Three, when Pittsburgh's Tyler Kennedy countered with the winning goal just 31 seconds after the Lightning tied it, Tampa Bay took this one into overtime.

The Lightning failed to take advantage of a power-play opportunity in the first OT, and got off only one shot in the second extra period before Neal ended it with his first goal of the playoffs.


Ducks all square

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Corey Perry's short-handed goal at 1:17 of the third period put Anaheim ahead to stay and the Ducks beat the Nashville Predators, 6-3, to tie the first-round series 2-2.

Game Five is Friday night in Anaheim, with Ducks forward Bobby Ryan set to return from a two-game suspension.

Perry also had two assists. Cam Fowler had a power-play goal and had an assist, and Ryan Getzlaf, Brandon McMillan, Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu added goals.

Patric Hornqvist, Joel Ward and Matt Halischuck scored for Nashville, which blew a chance for its first ever 3-1 series lead.


NBC, Versus keep TV rights

NEW YORK -- The NHL is staying on NBC and Versus for the next 10 years.

In a joint announcement, the NHL and the NBC Sports Group said the new deal will run through the 2020-21 season. The package is reportedly worth a total of $2 billion.

NBC will remain the exclusive network home for the NHL, and Versus is retaining the major cable rights. The NHL had drawn interest from ESPN, Turner and FOX, but decided to stay where it has been for the last six years.

For the first time, all Stanley Cup playoff games will air on one of the NBC Sports Group's channels.

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